Web Content Viewer (JSR 286) - Healthy Weight


Woman sitting at kitchen bench using laptop and drinking coffeeThe importance of physical activity for health benefits are widely understood; however, the health benefits of sitting less are not as commonly recognised.

New research has shown that sitting for long periods increases your chance of developing chronic disease.4 So, regardless of how much physical activity you do, try to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting when at work, watching TV, reading or playing electronic games.

 If you do have to sit for your job or to study, make sure you take regular breaks from sitting by standing up and moving around. 

Breaks in sitting time do not need to involve moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity. Standing up, stretching and doing light activities can be beneficial.

Whether or not you’re a healthy weight, and whether or not your weight changes, simply sitting less will help to improve your health and wellbeing.  Try these tips for sitting less at work:

  • Stand while reading or talking on the phone.
  • Make regular trips to the kitchen to refill your water glass.
  • Collect your printing from the printer more often.
  • Schedule reminders on your calendar or phone to stand and stretch.
  • Go and see the person in the office next door rather than send them an email.

One way to minimise sitting time is to minimise screen time. Screens have become a big part of our lives. Many of us now spend hours every day looking at computer, television, video game, tablet and phone screens. Try to reduce your screen time, especially at times of the day when you could be doing physical activity.

There is good evidence that children in particular should limit screen time for entertainment to no more than two hours a day.4

Here are some tips to help minimise screen time:

  • Turn the TV off when the show you were watching has finished.
  • Don't have the TV on in the background when you are doing other things (especially during meal times).
  • Schedule TV time – choose your favourite programs and only watch those.
  • Limit your time spent surfing the net and social networking.
  • Choose between watching TV, electronic games or computer time.

[4] Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines Children (5-12 years), Young People (13-17 years) and Adults (18-64 years).  Department of Health 2013.


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